• travel guide
  • Travel Guides
  • Apps & eBooks
  • Community
  • Publish Apps
Several aboriginal tribes are renowed for their art; this is a Rukai woodcarving. (SC)  <img src='http://www.guidegecko.com/images/spyglass1.png' align='texttop' /> Click for full image
Travel Guide > Asia > Taiwan > Sights & Attractions


Click for larger image
Upload Photo     Upload Video

Add a Point to the Map

Aboriginal, aborigines Between the 17th and 19th centuries, Taiwan's indigenous people (原住民) were forced off the plains and into the mountainous interior, where they continued their headhunting and face-tattooing traditions well into the 20th centuries. Nowadays, around two percent of the population is of Austronesian aboriginal (rather than Han Chinese) descent. The government recognizes 14 aboriginal tribes; other groups are lobbying for official status.

Dongning, Kingdom of After Koxinga withdrew to Taiwan, he and his supporters established a mini-state in what's now Tainan to preserve Ming Dynasty values and keep up the fight against the Qing invaders. This entity, the Kingdom of Dongning (東寧王國), lasted from 1662 to 1683.

DPP The Democratic Progressive Party (民進黨) is the main opposition party in Taiwan, and was initially led by former dissidents. Despite winning two presidential elections, it has never won a majority in Taiwan's parliament.

Dutch East India Company See VOC.

Fujian, Fujianese The mainland Chinese province closest to Taiwan is Fujian (福建). The majority of Taiwan's people have strong ancestral links with the province, and speak Holo, a dialect of Hokkien (the version of Chinese spoken in much of Fujian). Fujianese have been migrating to Taiwan since at least the early 1600s.

Guangdong The southernmost province in mainland China, Guangdong (廣東) is the ancestral homeland of most of Taiwan's Hakka people, as well as the birthplace of many people in Hong Kong.

Hakka A distinct ethnic minority on the Chinese mainland for at least 1,700 years, the Hakka (客家) speak their own language and follow distinctive customs. Hakkas, renowned for being hardworking, account for between a tenth and one sixth of Taiwan's population.

Han The vast majority of people, including Hakka, in both Taiwan and China are of Han (漢族) descent. However, the Manchus who founded the Qing Dynasty, Tibetans, Mongolians and those in the mainland's far west or southwest are not Han. Neither are Taiwan's aborigines.

KMT The Kuomintang (中國國民黨) or Chinese Nationalist Party is the political grouping led by Sun Yat-sen and later Chiang Kai-shek. It ruled Taiwan as a dictatorship between 1945 and the late 1980s, when free elections were held. In opposition from 2000 to 2008, the party once again controls both the presidency and the parliament.

Mainlanders ROC citizens born on the Chinese mainland, or whose parents were born there, are often called "mainlanders," and some Taiwanese of Fujianese descent consider them outsiders, partly because so few are able to speak Holo well. Mainlanders, among them Chiang Kai-shek and Ma Ying-jeou, have dominated Taiwan's government since 1945.

Ming The Ming (明) Dynasty ruled China from 1368 to 1644. Ming loyalists unwilling to accept the Qing takeover, led by Koxinga, established the Kingdom of Dongning in southern Taiwan in 1662.

Qing The Qing (清) Dynasty ruled the Chinese mainland from 1644 to 1911, and Taiwan between 1684 and 1895, when the Japanese took control of the island. In older sources, Qing is usually spelled Ch'ing. 

Republic of China, ROC Taiwan's official name is the Republic of China (中華民國, ROC). The ROC was established on the Chinese mainland in 1911. The government moved to Taiwan in 1949 following its defeat in the Chinese Civil War.

Tamsui Alternative spelling of Danshui, a town in New Taipei City that was a Treaty Port in the late 19th century.

Temple Buddhist, Taoist and folk houses of worship are usually called temples (廟 or 寺) in English, although sometimes other words are used including "hall" (殿) and "palace" (宮). Ancestral shrines (祠) are often closed to the public.

VOC The Dutch East India Company (VOC, Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie) was chartered in 1602. Between 1624 and 1662 it operated a trading colony from Fort Zeelandia in Tainan.

Type: Tip
Location: Taiwan

Users for Glossary
1 0 0
Make it Happen!

Our service for you - your travel checklist:

  1. Read our online guides
  2. Find a cheap flight
  3. Book a nice hotel
  4. Get travel insurance
    - even during your trip -

...and have fun!